Emergency preparation classes at BC

With winter right around the corner, that means windstorms, ice, cold, rain and snow, making the roads slipperier and the chance of things such as power outages and damage due to felled trees even higher. Being prepared for emergencies gives individuals the ability to solve problems that might come up during an emergency.

Winter is not the only current risk, however. With the recentness of the Marysville shooting, campuses all across the state are aware and watchful, pulling together staff and students alike in order to keep everyone safe.

Beginning this quarter, a series of seminar classes are being given for faculty and staff on emergency safety practices in order that BC be properly prepared. Jason Esper, BC Emergency Operations Officer, who works with the Public Safety department at BC, shares what the classes entail.

“We put together a curriculum of classes, some that were designed internally and some that are given nationwide, and we are putting those on a Web-based sign up system with class descriptions and we opened it up to faculty and staff here so that they can be better prepared to handle emergencies if they happen on campus.”

There is a range of classes, which are set up as seminars offered weekly from November through the middle of December. The first class listed teaches general medical practices, both adult and child CPR, the use of an AED (defibrillator) machine, and first aid. Second is a “General BC Preparedness” class, which Esper says shows faculty and staff the specifics of the campus such as where the first aid kits are, equipment stations, and teaches them how to use a fire extinguisher.

These two courses are offered twice this quarter. “Advanced BC Preparedness,” which builds off of its predecessor, goes over things such as the different specific caches of equipment on campus, where they are, and how to use them.

The next class offered is a review of the Incident Command System, a system created by the United States Federal Highway Administration after 9/11 when they realized that the firefighters and policemen could not communicate due to differing terminology and procedures. ICS became a way to order and organize emergency responders across the nation, no matter where they are from. Three levels of ICS, ICS100, ICS200, and ICS300, are compressed into the six hour seminar, which is offered once near the end of November.

After taking both General and Advanced BC Preparedness, faculty and staff are free to take the Building Captain Training, which trains employees on how to take leadership on campus in the case of an emergency.

Esper encourages students to sign up for the BC text alert system. “Sometimes students assume that they automatically going to receive a text message if there’s an emergency on campus,” he says. “That’s not true. They have to actually go on to the website and sign up for RAVE alerts.” He says that BC is working with certain phone providers on getting better reception at BC so that alerts can be received more reliably. Students can sign up on the BC website.